No matter if you’ve purchased a boat for hobbyist usage or intend to use it as a tool for a career (such as fishing or other logistical implementation), then it’s important to consider how to stay safe at sea.
Now, the coast guard for your particular country will have its own rules and regulations, and licenses for you to pass before you can take your boat out to water. That said, while safety information is covered, it’s not always comprehensive, and that means that backing up your knowledge and making sure you’re aware of possible safety pitfalls could potentially save your life, or prevent an unfortunate situation from getting worse.
For this reason, taking the time to stay safe at sea requires a mix of small efforts, procedural reviews, and equipment preparation necessary to keep you safe behind the helm.
In this post, we’ll discuss three of these possible avenues:
Learn To Track Weather
Learning to track the weather is essential before taking your boat out. This is because not only does the weather define the conditions of the water you will be sailing on, but if caught in a storm, where you should go to withstand the harsh effects. Learning to track weather means looking to the skies and seeing grey clouds moving in, which direction they are moving to, and how they’re being reported over the seafaring announcement radio channels.
Purchase A VHF Radio & GPS
It’s important to purchase a VHF capable, weather-resistant radio you can operate in order to contact the coast guard and other boats you are travelling with. This can help you call for aid using official radio procedure, as well as ensure warnings are given across the board in relation to situational issues.
However, there are other safety measures worth keeping in mind, such as purchasing a boat GPS tracker and ensuring it’s tracking your position. This enables you to keep the coast guard updated and broadcast your location, while also helping you track your position relative to certain weather conditions. As such, they are a necessary and versatile investment.
Curate Your Emergency Pack
An emergency pack is a toolkit we hope to never use, but we should never be caught without. This should include flares, flotation jackets, a first-aid kit, sun protection, seasickness tablets, headache tablets, and whatever else you feel necessary.
The further offshore you go, the more you will need to increase the preparations for self-sufficiency. This includes any additional medication you may wish to take, gloves, thermal protective aid, tweezers, a hot water bottle, and bandages.
Make sure that you continually update your knowledge regarding the best and most up-to-date safety procedures for operating your boat. Don’t be afraid to touch base with the relevant authorities and safety guides before setting off on your journey. Even in-shore travel can change on a dime, and so it’s best to practice essential safety protocol and to never deviate from your course without good reason.